Private Reuben Rogers

Born: Unknown
Died: 19 May 1814, Location Unknown

I am Private Reuben Rogers. I joined New Brunswick’s 104th Regiment of Foot on 29 July 1811. When my regiment left for Canada in February 1813, I marched with close to 600 other men, as a member of Captain George Shore’s Light Company. The Light Company were the smallest and fastest men of the Regiment, and we were two of the elite Flank companies in the regiment. The other elite flank company was the Grenadier Company, whose members were the biggest and strongest men of the regiment. The Light Company was the last one to leave Fredericton and we marched out on 21 February 1813. The going was hard – it snowed just about every day and we continually had to break trail with our snowshoes. The weather was also very, very cold. As we were travelling up the Madawaska River towards Lake Témiscouata in Lower Canada (Québec), we encountered a huge snowstorm called a “northwest gale”. The temperature fell to -34°C. Ninety of the 105 men in our company got frostbite. I was so badly frozen that Lieutenant John Le Couteur said that I “was quite a hideous spectacle, altogether one ulcerated mass, as if scalded all over from boiling water” in a journal he kept about our march. I could not continue with the march in my condition, so they left me with a Corporal at Philip Long’s farm in Cabano (Québec). I received good care there and I was able to rejoin my regiment in Kingston, Upper Canada (Ontario) “perfectly recovered” about six weeks later. I served with my Light Company along the Niagara frontier in the summer of 1813 and returned to Kingston for the winter. We stayed in Kingston for the winter in what was called winter quarters. There was not much fighting during a war in winter at that time in history. It was too cold and there was too much snow to go outside. Even though the army said I was all better and could go fight, I was not. I became very ill with side effects from my extreme frostbite and died on 19 May 1814.

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